Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coming in February: Alphabetaphilia, 2012

Do you feel like you need a shock of electricity to wake up your writing this winter?  Yes, I was being mildly shocked many years ago by the van de Graff generator above, but it was stimulating! 
 I was fascinated recently with Captain GrammarPants’ Facebook lists of words originating from different countries/languages.  I was reminded of some word games my family used to play on long car trips.  Is winter like a long car trip?  Don’t we keep asking if we’re done yet?  So let’s play a word game.  It’s open to everyone.  This blog is moderated due to the bad behavior of some foreign posters, so your post will take around a day to appear each time.  But be comfortable; it will not be lost.  And if you'd rather post anonymously, you can (but read on, you may not want to).  I will not post obscene or scary postings, and I have the final decision on any submission.

This year is a leap year so we have 29 days in February.  To play the game, on Days 1-26 choose and give us a list of five favorite words beginning with the letter of the day, A for February 1, B for February 2, etc. Each day, you can challenge yourself to make a sentence (or in a pinch a couple of sentences) using all of your words.  Days 27, 28, and 29 are free choice of repeats of letters, ones where you sensed one group of five favorite words didn’t even scratch the surface. Post each entry under the thread of the day, which I will post so you can “comment” to add your list and sentences.  There will be author interviews and other longer posts, but just scroll around to find the “Febrary 1, A lists and sentences here” posting for February 1, etc.  I will be out of town a couple of times, and will post the threads you need before I go each time so you won’t have to search fruitlessly for a place to post your alphabetaphilic entries.

Is this a contest?  If so, does the winner get a prize?   Yes, and yes.  Everyone who writes at least ten lists and sentences during the first 26 days is automatically entered in the contest.  I will recruit one more judge and we will judge the entries according to our aesthetic taste and announce the winner by March 15.  The entire group of lists and sentences submitted by a contestant will be considered together, and we’ll look for sound, imagery, diversity of meanings, and success of the sentence(s).  There will probably be intangibles involved in the selection of the winner too.

The winner will receive a new copy of either Gruen’s Water For Elephants or my memoir Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling, his or her choice.

All participants will be asked at the end of the month if they want to choose some of their lists and sentences and have them included in an Alphabetaphilia, 2012 pdf that will be made available free via WestCoastWriters blog, to anyone who wants to receive it.  Your work, if you ask to have it included, will be acknowledged with a byline.  It will NOT be used without your agreement.  This pdf will not be sold, so there will be no financial profit to you for being included in the pdf, only free publicity. 
         Stay tuned!

         Cheers, Laura

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